Reinventing career in product management in the time of pandemic


Michelle Chong Mei Xuan

Alumni of NBS/2013
Product Manager at IHiS
Completed SGUnited Skills Programme in UX Design and Product Management

How was your learning experience with this programme?

While the pandemic has forced my career ambitions in the airline industry to come to a standstill, I have been blessed with the opportunity to pick up new skills in UX Design and Product Management. I have always been interested in this field, but being comfortable with what I know, I never found the courage to venture out to pursue this passion.

I am proud to say that after a few months of training, I am now skilled in conducting user research, wire-framing, prototyping, visual communication and familiar with concepts that were once alien to me such as agile and scrum. If not for COVID-19, I may never have found the motivation to develop myself professionally to this extent and would have been contented to remain in my comfort zone.

It has been a breath-taking experience working on the capstone project, collaborating with my group mates via Zoom without meeting in person, and dealing with very tight deadlines. I won’t lie and say this journey has been 100% smooth-sailing, but I am glad that everything came to fruition in the end. At the end of the day, I am proud of what we have accomplished as a group and as an individual, I am proud of myself for working hard and striving to do my very best. I stayed motivated and enthusiastic throughout this journey despite encountering setbacks along the way.

How would you apply what you’ve learnt in this programme?

I started out this course with no professional background in design, and was a bit concerned about the steep learning curve. I am thankful that I am now better equipped with knowledge such as the principles of designs and enhanced technical skills to create more visually appealing work on a professional level.

I am appreciative to walk away with the knowledge in design thinking and through this process, I also developed greater empathy for the customers. Having worked in customer-centric roles throughout my entire career, becoming a UX Designer has given me a brand-new perspective on the customer experience.

Do you think lifelong learning is important? Please share your thoughts about it.

Working on the capstone project has given me a new appreciation to every app that I use on my smartphone. It made me more inquisitive, excited to return to school, and reignited my passion to gain new knowledge. At the same time, it also reminded me that learning is a never-ending journey.

Please share with us your new career journey upon completion of this programme.

Upon graduation from this programme, I started my new career as Product Design Manager at Lendor before moving on to current role as Product Manager at IHiS. Lendor is a marketplace platform with an extensive library of things that consumers can rent from partner businesses and share with trusted peers for short term use. This encourages collaborative consumption, less wastage, and allows purchases to go the extra mile. I am very thankful to be able to utilise my newly acquired skill set to work on something meaningful!